We have a Windows 2003 R2 Storage Server hosting shares in our network. It was also configured as an iSCSI target for a VMware ESXi 4.0.0 server and several VMs were stored on it.
A couple of weeks ago the VMs became unavailable and we haven't been able to get them running since. As soon as I try to do anything with them (start the VMs, mount the drives in a different VM, download the files, etc) the vSphere Client crashes and it loses its connection to the iSCSI target. I have to go to the SAN and restart the "Microsoft iSCSI Software Target" service, then rescan the Storage Adapters in VMware.
Once I do that it reconnects to the storage and I can see the files stored in it. I'm able to Browse the datastore, see the VMs powered down, and even add the virtual drives to other VMs, but as soon as I try to actually do anything with them it crashes again.
Restarting the ESXi host does not help, only restarting the iSCSI service on the SAN so I'm thinking that the problem is with Microsoft, but aren't really sure.
We've added enough local storage to the ESXi host to move the VMs there, so all I want to do is access the data and get it off the SAN. I don't need to get it working permanently, just long enough to pull the virtual disks to different storage.
I've tried mounting the .VHD that Windows SS created in a windows 2008 server, but it says that the drive has to be NTFS to mount. I've also tried using the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target MMC to mount the drive, but can't give it a drive letter and see the data. I'm guessing it's because the drive was formatted by VMWare, but again I'm taking a guess.
Does anyone have any thoughts on how to get access to these files long enough to move them to better storage?